Brooklyn Students Really 'Dig' Earth Day Lesson

Some young students in Brooklyn celebrate Earth Day by helping to make their community a little bit greener, learning a lesson their teachers hope will last a lifetime. NY1's Roger Clark explains.

First graders from St. Anselm Catholic Academy in Bay Ridge got a lesson in horticulture, planting flowers that will decorate their school grounds.

"It makes them feel great to be part of something like that," first Grade teacher Josephine Ghorra said.

The school marked the 46th Earth Day appropriately with the students getting their hands dirty, leaving the classroom for the outdoors and some gardening.

"What it does is it really imprints on their brain an experience, and then with that they bring in the curriculum that they would have learned through the textbooks or their teachers in the classroom," STEM Coordinator Christine Deem said. 

It's an annual lesson for the kids about respecting and taking care of the planet they live on — in their corner of the world.

"This shows them how to give back to the community. To help the community, brighten the community up," said James McKeon, the school's principal.

"These kids are going to be the future, so start them early so we have a better world for all of us to live in," School Board Chairperson John Quaglione said.

Other students at St. Anselm's took a short road trip to be part of Earth Day, lending a hand there at the Narrows Botanical Gardens.

That included learning about some native creatures like box turtles, and a giant American Bullfrog. There was also some hard work keeping the massive community garden clean.

"I'm sweating. It's quite the hot day," sixth grader Brian McPadden said with a smile.

But that was OK: the students said it was worth it to be part of the big day of action around the globe.

"When you think about what the Earth does to help you, like clean the air, it's like something I would totally do again," sixth grader Emily Downey said.

And their message to folks who aren't doing the right thing when it comes to the environment?

"They have to take care of this place to actually enjoy everything," sixth grader Alanna Byrne said.

So don't let any of the kids catch you littering or not recycling: they are on-board with the planet 100 percent.

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